*First of all, I would like to just state that this is only one man's humble opinion. Hopefully it helps you in your mock drafts.
I have rated my top 200 players and created tiers to see who will fall and where. Obviously, there is a huge WR block in the second round that we could get in on the tail end of. Unfortunately it looks like a huge drop-off from there.
There are two large tiers of CBs that I see, but many could fall right before we pick in the third and fourth rounds.
There is also a block of OTs that fit Carolina's mold at the end of the third round. Many other linemen are scattered throughout the second/third round that could cause one to fall to the third.
I also see a small group of pass rushers in the early second round that could easily cause one to fall to the late second.
I could see the Panthers taking at least one O-lineman and one WR in the first three rounds. If one falls to us in the first then we go BPA in round 2. If not, then we go BPA in one, WR in two and OT in three.
With no one else saying this, I am also speculating that we are also looking at a backup C that could start off at RG. If M. Martin doesn't fall our way, there are a few great looking players to be found in the 5th-6th rounds.
With that said, here are my top 50 options for the Carolina Panthers 2014 NFL Draft. Some I put in the "others" section because I think they won't fall to us or aren't worth the reach for Panther style football.
*Asterisked players have had a visit/connection to the Carolina Panthers this off-season.
1. CB - Kyle Fuller* - should go earlier but may fall with four CBs projected to go in the second half of the first round. Great size/speed. Fits our zone scheme. Good in run support.
2. WR - Davante Adams* - Ranked in the R2 pack but I'm in love. Great hands/athleticism and redzone target
3. LOT - Joel Bitonio* - A rising R2 prospect that fits Rivera's team. Tough/durable/mean/and fast. Under sized and needs technique work.
Others - Marqise Lee*, Brandin Cooks*, Morgan Moses*, Kelvin Benjamin, Jason Verrett*, Cyrus Kouandjio
1. WR - Cody Latimer* - Fastest rising player of the draft. Great size/speed/strength. Good Hands. stiff routes.
2. C - Marcus Martin* - Big, athletic, good pass pro. (but I think the Panthers are looking for big, mean linemen better in the run game)
3. ROT - Jack Mewhort - No known ties to the Panthers but my favorite R2-3 lineman. Thick/big/competitive/versatile/mean strong run-blocker. yes please!
Others - Scott Crichton*, Jordan Matthews*, Ju'Wuan James, Antonio Richardson, Donte Moncrief, Allen Robinson*
1. DE - Kareem Martin* - Good size/initial quickness/strength but stiff. Could fall to us this year.
2. ROT - Billy Turner* - Good size. quick/athletic/smart/hard working competitor. Needs strength/technique
3. G/LOT - Dakota Dozier* - big/strong/mean competitor. Needs technique and better footwork.
Others - Marcus Smith, Pierre Desir*, Keith McGill, Paul Richardson, Bruce Ellington, Louchiez Purifoy, Stanley Jean-Baptiste, Brandon Thomas*, CJ Fiedorowicz*, Cameron Fleming*
1. CB - Rashaad Reynolds - Quick/smart/athletic with good instincts vision/hips/feet. Small.
2. CB/FS - Marqueston Huff* - Athletic/fast/smart/versatile/ball hawk. Inconsistent tackler/technique.
3. CB - Dontae Johnson - huge/athletic/fast/smart versatile zone man. Poor mans Fuller. Lean/takes bad angles
Others - Craig Loston, Antone Exum, Terrance Mitchell, Christian Kirksey, Chris Smith, James Hurst, Brock Vereen*, Kevin Norwood*
1a. C - Bryan Stork - Great size/technique/smart/competitor. Good pass pro. Short/stiff hips/avg strength
1b. C - Gabe Ikard - Good hands. Smart/tough/good character. Poor athlete.
2a. CB - Ross Cockrell* - Smart/disciplined/good awareness. Nickel/ST jammer. Thin/short arms/needs strength
2b. CB - Aaron Colvin - Good size/athleticism/technique. Smart/instinctive. Good character. Not fast/quick.
3a. TE - Joe Don Duncan - Big/ good hands/smart/strong/good character. Avg feet. poor routes. Injury risk/poor blocker.
3b. TE - Crockett Gillmore - Good size. great blocker. good hands. good pass pro. Needs strength. poor routes. Not quick/fast
1. Lot - Matt Patchan - Quick out of stance. good feet/strong punch. Mean and competitive. Short arms/needs strength/poor hands/likes to play on his back
2. DE - Larry Webster* - Great speed/size/quickness. Lacks strength, raw hands, avg instincts, poor tackler.
3. QB - Stephen Morris* - Great arm strength/athletic QB. Good character. Avg size. Poor accuracy. A bit cocky.
Phew. So there you have it Panther fans... Every draft prospect the Panthers will end up not drafting ;)
Refer back before each night's main even to readjust your boards. Good luck Panthers fans! The future looks bright.